Ride-hailing drivers across Nigeria, including platforms like Uber, Bolt, LagRide, and Indriver, have initiated protests demanding a substantial increase in fares. The Amalgamated Union of App-based Transport Workers of Nigeria (AUATWON) has issued a sit-at-home order, urging drivers to withhold their services until ride-hailing companies meet their demands. Along with fare hikes, the union has put forward other requests.
Why the Strike By the Ride-Hailing Drivers (AUATWON)
Kolawole Aina, the National Vice President for Southwest Nigeria (AUATWON), stated, “Each local government in Lagos State, and by extension, all states in Nigeria, will be protesting today at the same time.” Furthermore, the drivers plan to picket the offices of Uber in Victoria Island and Bolt in Lekki. Aina emphasized that all e-hailing platforms will remain shut down from the start of the strike until Friday, urging riders to seek alternative transportation options.
AUATWON remains hopeful that the strike will not need to be prolonged. Somoye Olalekan, the Public Relations Officer for the union, leading the protest in Ifako Ijaiye local government, expressed, “The strike may not have to last that long if they (Uber and Bolt) do what we ask in time.” Reports indicate that the protest activities have commenced in Edo State, with Comrade Jolaiya Moses planning to join the movement from there.
Despite the ongoing strike, I was able to find a driver on the Bolt app who was only five minutes away. As is often the case with ride-hailing strikes, enforcement poses challenges due to the reliance of many gig workers on daily earnings to make ends meet, repay car owners, or fulfill loan obligations. Recognizing this enforcement issue, AUATWON has deployed a task force to prevent drivers from working in Ifako-Ijaiye.
AUATWON’s primary demand in this week’s strike is for ride-hailing companies to raise fares by a minimum of 200%. Additionally, the union is calling for a 50% reduction in commissions charged by platforms like Uber and Bolt, who currently collect a 20% commission on each ride. The union also seeks an end to driver deactivation for refusing to work due to low fares and resulting unprofitability. Finally, AUATWON aims to gain recognition as the representative body for drivers’ interests.
Please note that this is a developing story.
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